Tag Archives: parenting

Falling Into Gratitude

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Falling Into Gratitude

With Fall upon us,I’m feeling pretty grateful for the change in season and the celebration of life that will be happening for my family. My daughter will be twelve years old on 11/23 and my son will be 1 on 12/5. Yes,that is technically still Fall. I’m ready to celebrate life. But let me rewind a little bit.

A couple of weeks after I gave birth to Avery, I noticed some changes in my mother. She was supposed to take Amani to and from school for me for th two weeks following my discharge from the hospital while I healed. Two days into that,Mom tells me she can’t take Amani to school anymore because she’s having trouble breathing. I thought it was an excuse to just not walk Amani for me, so I resumed pickin her up myself 4 days post partum. But Amani confirmed that her grandmother was having trouble breathing. Then my mother went to a new doctor which was odd because she had been with her previous one for ten years. She offered no explanation and I didn’t go with her fo her initial visit. However, Mom did tell me that the doctor was concerned about her kidney health and warned her if she didn’t do something about it soon,she wouldn’t see the end of 2019. Tht freaked me out but Mom didnt seem to take it seriously. She continued to treat her body like a garbage dump and didn’t go back to see her doctor until April 2019.

The news she gave me did remind me of when another doctor 5 years or so prior told her she has thirty something percent kidney damage. So,I start paying closer attention to Mom. She’s already stopped going clothes shopping, grocery shopping, and no longer wants the landlord or our upstairs neighbors to see her. That was weird because aside from spoiling the kids, she LOVES to shop til she drops. We used to hit Macy’s clearance rack regularly then spend an hour in the home department looking at Martha Stewart sheets. She didn’t even want a Christmas tree for Avery’s first official Christmas. We always argue about putting up decorations and she always win. This time I won. Red flag number 2.

Her appetite diminished pretty rapidly and I noticed she was losing weight. I cried when I found an entire pot of cooked but barely eaten ox tails in the refrigerator. I cried myslef to sleep that night. She NEVER leaves an oxtail uneaten.When I asked Mom abou her health,she’d say she was fine and she promised to reschedule the doctor’s appointment she broken several times. I stopped believing her. As Winter turned to Spring, mom’s attitude changed and she became very mean and callous. She picked silly and meaningless arguments with me, my brother,and Amani. I took the brunt of her anger to deflect from Amani. She seemed to become jealous whenever I took the children out or whenever my brother went out with hs girlfriend. Amani started complaining of the mean things her Granny said to her when I was out of ear shot. I said nothing to my mom about it most of the time because I knew she was sick but twice I couldn’t let it go. She missed Amani’s 5th grade graduation, which was so heart breaking to deal with.

I started telling close family members that I suspected Mom was gravely ill and I didn’t know how to help. They offered no real help or moral support,not even when I assured them she was letting herself die. I turned to a close friend and a woman who I knew as my aunt although she was no blood relation. They encouraged me to cease trying to get help for Mom,who made it clear she didn’t want help. So, I started preparing myself for life without Mom. Don’t get me wrong, I kept the faith that God would intervene but I came to a peace that maybe this was His answer.

By the time school started, Mom looked gaunt with dark circles under her eyes and her pupils were looking yellowish. I knew she was dying and I hated her for making me and the kids watch it happen. How could she proclaim to love us but act as if we don’t know what’s happening to her?! The Lord jumped into action just as I was about to give up. My mom wound up in the hospital emergency room and stayed there for 6 days.

She had to start life saving dialysis immediately. At first she refused but I finally spoke to her about how everything looked through my eyes since she had gotten worse. I told her we were already living without her and I could see how that made her feel. She relented. I was so relieved that she wasn’t going to die but I was still angry about what she put us through. But that was another conversation for another time, I got to keep my mama.

Mom has been on dialysis for about 3 weeks now. She must have treatment three times a week. I’m happy to say that she is sticking with it and her disposition has improved. She wants to enjoy life and people again. Her appetite has returned and she’s looking forward to a trip to Macy’s to find new duds for her smaller frame. She even has a crush on another dialysis patient but won’t tak to him until she’s “looking good”(her words). I’m in eternal debt to God for extending mercy and grace to her.

My faith was definitely tested this year. I wanted some things in my life changed and this was a test of how bad I wanted it. I learned alot about myself and my mom. Both mom and I have emerged from this closer to each other,but more importantly closer to God. I know her perspective of this is different from mine but our conclusion is the same…God is REAL!

ONE MORE THING BEFORE YOU GO:

My mom had a pretty hefty hospital bil that her insurance covered most of. There was a $300 balance that thanks to your donations has dropped to $80. Sounds like nothing but its a big deal for us because we just can’t afford it. So, help a fellow mom, blogger, and human out. You can donate to my Cash app or Pay Pal. Thanks to all of you who donated, it was a big load off getting the amount down. See you all soon!

Spring

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Spring

It seems the Winter has finally lifted its foot off my little neck of the woods. Though the temperature is still a but touchy, it feels good to look forward to the sun blinding me with a cool,not cold, breeze on my back. I’m also looking forward to bringing Avery outside more. I have been itching to show the entire neighborhood the cause for my tired eyes and reflective smile.

But its not all sunshine and rainbows despite the rising temperatures. I dont know what to do with myself. Ive been going back in forth in my mind about whether I want to go back to work outside the house or make a real go of working from home. Both options scare me but for different reasons. Going back to work outside is fine but my mom would watch the children and her health is not the best. Daycare is not an option because I just don’t trust people. I have a friend who could maybe help me out but she has 7 children of her own.

On the flip side, I could make a go of being a work at home mom. I have affiliate links on here and I could stary reaching out to brands to work with. I have people in my online community who could help me figure out how to approach brands,come up wit a media kit,etc. The down side to that is I probably won’t be making much to start off with. However, my ideal situation is to work from home so I can take care of the kids and look after my mom.

I am really confused as to what my next steps are going to be. I know I need an income as soon as possible and I need to be proactive in making things happen. But while I’m praying and waiting on the Lord to order my steps, I’m going to enjoy this time of renewal,fresh starts, and beautiful tulips. Maybe the answer will reveal itself in the nature around me,who knows?

My Baby Development Series

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My Baby Development Series

For those of you who dont know, I have a monthly livestream series on Periscope. Its called Oh,Baby! and it follows the development of my son,Avery. I want to bring Avery live with me so you can all drool over him. He is in the first episode,though.You can catch it every 5th of the month at 10 am EST. THE next one airs this coming Tuesday. If you jave missed any episodes, here they are and I hope to see you live with any questions or comments you may have. If I cant answer your questions at that time, I will post the answers on my Facebook page. As always thanks for the likes,follows,and shares!

Episode 1- Introduction/Labor& Delivery:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0GjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWpNS2dPRExWdm1LTIwmjCsRiI323gRd37VS0Shed8-SKg8CDvbyp-YLDkfU

Episode 2- Routine:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k1VjFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MWdxeHZuUk1ibHF4QoVJGxyXQrOiSiwY2uCl9OaY2Y33DGGzhu36MEfsltiV?t=2s

Episode 3- Settled:

https://www.pscp.tv/w/b0k0vDFWR2p2RFJwa0paUU98MXlOeGFPa1pOcnZHartPIfmc6lpnX1A1UPJfPJNsnqRMVhqGGldAjrK-u5TX

Favorite Parenting Podcasts

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You all know I love podcasts!! I have found soooooo many in so many of the subjects I am interested. So it should be no surprise that I have some parenting podcast favorites as well. These podcasts are both relatable and informative. I’ve even chuckled at an episode or two. They have made me think of myself as a parent differently which has led to be adjusting the way I parent my kids. I hope to find more podcasts to love but I the meant time here are a few I enjoy(in no particular order):

1)Spawned w/Kristen and Liz of coolmompicks


Show Info:

Hi, we’re Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase of CoolMomPicks.com. We’ve got a microphone and more than the two minutes the Today Show gives us, and we’re not afraid to use them. Join us (and some awesome celebrity guests) for candid parenting culture discussions, non-judgy (mostly) tips, and a good dose of humor, if we’ve had enough coffee. Which is always. Named a top podcast by The Washington Post, Mental Floss, Business Insider and Fatherly; 2016 Iris Award winner for best parenting podcast.

Latest episode: How To Make More Time So You Can Do More of What You Love

2) Mahogany Momology

Show Info: An online dialogue pertaining to the concerns and carefree parenting of Black motherhood

Latest episode:Common Law Marriage

3)That’s Inappropriate

Host(s): Meredith Masony and Tiffany Jenkins

Show Info:
Wife, Mother to three children, dog Mom of two, and founder of That’s Inappropriate and That’s Inappropriate Parents. I started this community back in October of 2014 because I felt alone and thought I was the only Mom who was losing her mind on a daily basis.

My mission is to educate parents about choosing their battles in life and helping women find themselves. As a parenting and women’s empowerment expert I strive to help every parent I can. My journey through illness and self-discovery has given me the insight necessary be able to help others. My book Scoop The Poop released in Nov. 2016 and it was a #1 new release in Parenting and Humor. I have traveled to conferences to speak on parenting, women’s empowerment, and how I created a business while juggling marriage and raising three kids. Join me in the Hot Mess Express Community for Perfectly Imperfect Parents.

Latest episode:Blowups at the Christmas Play, SAHM Mom Depression,and The “Nag”

4)Experiencing Motherhood Single and Black

Host: Kim Williams

Show Info: In the Experiencing Motherhood: Single & Black Podcast, Kim will be sharing her experiences throughout her single mom journey along with tips and tricks to inspire and uplift other moms. Kim will also bring on other guests to talk about various topics related to single parenting in the black community

Latest episode: Homebuying for Single Moms

Tales of A Fourth Grader…

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Amani will be going to 4th grade come September.  I am very proud of her accomplishment because 3rd grade was her first year having to take the state exams for reading and math. I knew she had some areas she struggled in and I just prayed everything would work out. And it did. Not only will she be going to 4th grade,she got this as a memento of the third grade:

Most Likely to Excel in Life

Not to mention the two medals she won on Field Day. How could I not be proud?

When I was in 4th grade, I had a strict teacher,Mrs.Rios. I remember she wore this monochromatic pink lipstick that would slide into the corners of her mouth. She had a thick Spanish accent and even thicker black hair. She always had this uninterested scowl on her face but she knew everything that went on in class 401. I was a good student  but my Math suffered and it made me hate Math. I would always let my mind wander during our multiplication drills and I paid for it by having to write the table 1-12 twenty five times each. 

I also kept a juny desk in fourth grade. Every week, Mrs.Rios made me clean out all the junk in front of the entire class. It embarrassed me the first couple of times,which was probably the intent, but then it just became routine. She eventually gave up and let me clean out my desk in my normal spot.  She wasn’t my favorite teacher because she tried to break my hard headed nature. Even now, I still resent her. Here’s to Amani having a better experience!

You May Quote…#10

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I know that I should be enjoying my summer with Bubba and I really am but unfortunately summer won’t last always and when Bubba returns to school in September, I will be rotting at home. I lost my job as a cashier in March and its time to get back to the daily grind. I have been looking left and right for something I can do that I can somewhat enjoy. My last job was pretty okay (not including the pain in the ass customers and weird staff members). I think I would be well suited for an office job. However, I haven’t worked in an office setting in almost ten years. And all I did at that job was a lot of filing. It seems if an office job is what I want,I’m going to have to figure out how to use all of these Microsoft programs, which is a job in itself. When I feel really discouraged, I think about how much better my life will be once I’m making my own money again. I consider how broke I always am and the look on Bubba’s face when I can’t afford to buy her a new doll on a whim. It really sucks and I hate it! Which brings me to today’s quote. I think I’m going to have it printed and carry it with me whenever I have a job interview. Maybe I’ll even put it on my ceiling as the last thing I see before closing my eyes. Anyway, I hope it helps all of you who need a little encouragement in any area of your life.

positive quotes - Google Search

Mommy and Me Mondays #8-The Cooper Family

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How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have two children, ages 4 and 8. My 4-year-old is a quick-witted, smart little guy that loves dinosaurs. My 8-year-old is a funny, sweet boy with an excellent memory who loves cars and also happens to have autism.
 
What is ONE song that reminds you of your child(ren)?
I’ve always associated Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars with my oldest son. I remember hearing it in the car several times while he grew in my belly, and he would just flip all around as if he loved it too. The lyrics seem fitting, too. “We’ll do it all. Everything. On our own. We don’t need. Anything. Or Anyone.”
I don’t really have such a strong song association for my youngest, but he sure does like Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.
How would you define your style of parenting?
If you’ve ever heard of Parenting with Love and Logic, I’d say that we follow the model almost to a tee. I believe in my children showing us respect, but I think that also means that I’m respectful of their feelings. We apologize for our mistakes in this house–children and adults alike. The punishment must fit the crime. Whenever possible, we use positive reinforcement rather than punishment to achieve results. I find this method holds the most results. Besides, punishment doesn’t seem to work at all on our 8-year-old anyway. He does much better when he’s working for a reward.
Do you have a restaurant or favorite place that you will only go with your child(ren)?
One of our favorite places to go is Applebee’s. They have more options for corn-free food than most places. We also typically get our food pretty quickly there, and that’s really important not only for small children, but for children with autism. We have the most positive dining experience in places that understand that we want our children’s food first.
What is one piece of advice you would give your child(ren) that can apply to their entire life?
I like to tell my children “never give up.” If you don’t get something the first time you try to do it, that doesn’t mean you won’t ever get it. Perseverance is a really important trait for a person to have. Perseverance is the only way my oldest son learned how to buckle his own seatbelt, button up his pants, and snap his fingers (something that he’s really proud of himself for). It’s a quality that’s helped my youngest learn to color inside the lines and begin writing his name. Teaching my children to never give up will help them for the rest of their lives as new challenges get presented, as they will need to learn to handle them with grace.

Mommy and Me Mondays #6- The Ewing Family

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How many children do you have and what are their ages?

Two girls ages 2(Sarah) and 4(Lissie).  Both of them have special needs.

What is ONE song that reminds you of your child(ren)?

“My Favorite Things” for Sarah and “Maneater” for Lissie.

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How would you define your style of parenting?

I am a strict parent, as is my husband.  We are both the oldest children in our families, so we were raised with pretty strict rules.  We do the same for our girls.  It’s important for us that they develop good character, so when they exhibit kindness, respect, etc, we reward them and affirm them, but when they are selfish and rude, we administer consequences (e.g., time outs, taking away toys or privileges).  It’s hard, but we’ve found that consistency is key!

Do you have a restaurant or favorite place that you will only go with your child(ren)?

There’s a local ice cream stand called “The Chief” that has hand-dipped flavors made with real cream.  We only go there with our girls every summer!

What is one piece of advice you would give your child(ren) that can apply to their entire life?

Kindness and respect (including self-respect) will get you far in life.  It doesn’t mean that people won’t betray you or treat you unfairly.  It doesn’t mean you will evade hurt and sorrow, but it does mean that you can hold your head up high, because you know who you are and you are true to yourself and your values.  Being kind ensures that you treat people with justice and mercy, that you care for those who are in need, and that you befriend people who are different from you.

Mommy and Me Mondays #4- The Hedlin Family

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How many children do you have and what are their ages?
I have 3 boys. My baby is Nathan and will be 4 on June 20th, my middle son is Lucas and he  just turned 7 and my oldest son is William and he  is 10.5.
 
What is ONE song that reminds you of your child(ren)?
I have two. Sorry. Let them be Little by Billy Dean and Here I am by Bryan Adams. I used both songs in my oldest son’s preschool slideshow and now I can’t listen to either one with out bawling. I can’t imagine going back and watching that today after more than 5 years have passed.
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How would you define your style of parenting?
I am an “anything goes” parent. We are very eclectic and we go with the flow. What worked last month may not work this week and you have to adjust or everyone will go crazy. 
Do you have a restaurant or favorite place that you will only go with your child(ren)?
Not really, unless you count their activities or the park. We do frequent Chick-fil-a with the kids but we would do that with or without them. Maybe we need a “special place” that is ours and the kids. Hmmm. Now you have me thinking.
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What is one piece of advice you would give your child(ren) that can apply to their entire life?
PLEASE, Be yourself and always trust that no matter what you decide or what you tell us we will love you unconditionally.

 

Where was the Good? Because it Was Bad, Then It Got Ugly

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about my pregnancy with Bubba. It was pretty ugly. I wasn’t happy and a good portion of the people involved weren’t either. Let me explain.

When I first announced my pregnancy, I was sitting with my best friends at IHOP.It was the day of our senior breakfast bit we weren’t feeling what was being served,so we treated ourselves to a REAL breakfast. Somewhere between my fourth pancake and third sausage link,I told my friends I suspected I was pregnant. One of them suggested we buy a cheapie pregnancy test and then head to my friend’s house so I could take it. My best girlfriend had to help me because I had no clue how to take the test. As soon as the test read positive,she burst out laughing. How could she laugh when my whole world was shattered?

On my way home, a million thoughts were racing through my head. A baby? A human baby? What will the father say? What will my mothers say? How am I going to take care of a baby? I had moved out of my mom’s house and in with another relative a few months before I got pregnant. This other relative gave me the freedom I had wanted and felt I deserved being a teenage girl. But your girl was just a little too free.

I didn’t tell my relative for awhile and when we finally talked about it,she was pretty calm. She asked all the obligatory questions: Are you sure? Who is the father? What are you going to do? I knew she was hinting at abortion, but that was completely out of the question. She took me to the clinic and got me started on prenatal care. There was tension between us,but she still had not blown a fuse. Until the day after graduation.

Now,the details are a little fuzzy but I remember my relative getting upset about dirty dishes in the sink. It wasn’t her first time ranting about dishes left in the sink but this rant became verbally abusive. She went on to express her disappointment and disgust at my being pregnant. Of course I expected disappointment from her because I was disappointed in myself. However, I was called EVERY deragatory name you can call a woman. She even wished that I had contracted and STD and AIDS from Bubba’s father. I was so stunned but I figured that she just needed to get her hurt and anger out of her system and that she didn’t mean any of it. Dude, I was sooo wrong.

The abuse continued throughout my pregnancy. The attacks would always start with something unrelated and minute and escalate into a massive ball of hatred. Bubba’s dad would send me money and she would get upset over that and she also forbid me from seeing him. When I went for my 5 month sonogram,I got the news that Bubba may have Downs Syndrome. That is the worst news any mom, especially a first time mom, could receive. When I went home to tell my relative, she was very supportive. She said “Whatever happens, we’ll take care of the baby together” and “God will get us through”. For the first time in months,I thought I could maybe be happy about my impending motherhood. Psyche!

A few weeks after that sonogram, Relative cussed me out and said if my baby had Downs Syndrome it was my fault for being a whore. After that, my pregnancy was miserable. I told my relative to come to my baby shower,but she decided to stay home and get high. When I bought baby things home to show her,she looked at me like I had grown two heads. I was so depressed,I didn’t even take pregnancy pictures because why would I want pics of the shame I had bought on myself and family?

The day I went into labor everything was going okay until Relative showed up. I could feel the resentment and tension she was feeling. She even made fun of my excruciating contractions. She stood aroud my hospital bed and I remember her saying she wouldn’t have even come if her son hadn’t pitched a fit about it when they found out I was in labor. After Bubba came, she mumbled a “Congratulations” and left the hospital. I didn’t see her again until I went home with the baby.

I continued being verbally abused until my mother rescued me. I have forgiven my relative and it seems we’ve moved past it…for now. The point of this story is to let teen moms know they should NEVER allow anyone to abuse them in ANY way (yes,words count). Pregnancy is a blessing,no matter who its bestowed upon and its a joyous time. To the parents and relatives of teen parents,please don’t shame your children. It’s okay to be disappointed and angry,but verbally abusing them is NOT going to change the fact that they are going to be parents. Be loving and supportive so that they will be loving and supportive parents,too!!!